May 13, 2022

Isabelle Huppert and Reda Kateb in a straight political thriller

Thomas Kruithof had already dabbled in political thrillers with talent in Shadow mechanics. He does it again with as much conviction in The promises, on screens Wednesday, January 26. Isabelle Huppert, as mayoress of a city of Seine-Saint-Denis, and Reda Kateb as chief of staff, are accomplices and on the go on the eve of an electoral campaign, in the best political film since The Exercise of the State.

Clémence, mayor in the 93, and Yazid, his chief of staff, are fighting to rehabilitate the city of Bernardins, undermined by insalubrity and slum landlords. A promise called into question at the end of his term and the proposal for a ministerial post. A questioning that will upset all his plans and his loyalty to his main collaborator.

If the context and the style are different, we spontaneously think of The Exercise of the State by Pierre Schoeller in 2011. The comparison with The promises does not disadvantage Thomas Kruithof’s film, quite the contrary. The scenario, the interpretation and the staging offer the same fine analysis of the political world, of ambitions sometimes to the detriment of commitments, with a welcome dramatic content in this period of electoral campaign.

Once again Isabelle Huppert identified completely with her role, as if she had been mayor all her life… Reda Kateb is no less convincing, in the costume of the first councilor invested. The scenario could have been in a more intimate register, but fortunately it does not have the awkwardness to fall into the predictable. No, the film is faithful to cross-cutting, contextual (the rehabilitation of a city), political and personal issues.

The unfolding of the action is exciting with its municipal meetings, its work appointments, its asides, secrets and revelations, lies and questioning, which keep you in suspense. Until a final suspense whose outcome falls at the last moment. Those promises are many. Towards the inhabitants of the city, of the municipality, of the party, and above all towards oneself. Thomas Kruithof manages to solve the equation in a film where ambition intersects with the sincerity of the subject and the treatment. Taking.

Genre : Drama
Director: Thuman Kruithof
Actors : Isabelle Huppert, Reda Kateb, Naidra Ayadi, Jean-Paul Bordes, Laurent Pointreneau, Soufiane Guerrab, Hervé Pierre
Pays : France
Duration : 1h38
Exit : January 26, 2022
Distributer : WIld Bunch

Synopsis : Mayor of a city in 93, Clémence is fighting with Yazid, his chief of staff, a fierce battle to save the Bernardins district, a city undermined by insalubrity and “sleep merchants”. This will be his last fight, before handing over to the next election. But when Clémence is approached to become a minister, her ambition calls into question all her plans. Can Clémence abandon her city, her loved ones, and renounce her promises? …